Not so long ago my youngest mudlet wanted to take her friends on one of those Go Ape-style climbing adventures. She’s only nine, but she’s a tall nine, and pretty fearless. Not all nine-year-olds come that way, and I thought it may not endear me to the parents of her friends if – while under my, um, care – they were sent 40-or-so metres up into the treetops, even with a harness!
But then I heard about Hobbledown Farm at Epsom where there’s a high ropes course (but not too high) with a zip wire, and a wonderful timber built village, among other farmy delights.
I packed a picnic, gathered up the awesome foursome, and tootled off to Hobbledown for the day. My mudster was beside herself with excitement, and the fact there were so many other things to do at Hobbledown, in addition to the high ropes course, only made this outing even better. That the friends were coming back for a sleep over, elevated this day even further.
And of course for me, I just wanted to make sure they all
got completely tired out had loads and loads of fun. Which they did! And they slept like babies that night too. Win, win!
Hobbledown is set on a 50-acre site and is based on a mystical and magical fantasy tale written by Angela Kecojevic.
For us, the highlights were the high ropes course and zip wire, and because we went on a day that wasn’t super warm, and it was pretty quiet, my awesome foursome got to go again, and again, and again, and again. The staff, known as Hobblers, were on a cheeky and chatty first-name basis with each of them.
My four were channelling their inner Tarzans and Janes. As well as the high ropes course, they had a go at the climbing tree towers… 24ft poles which they climbed before being gently lowered back to the ground by an automatic harness. That’s them below.
They also went through the willow maze, and had a couple of turns at the zorbing (below).
We also took a peek at the animals – there are more than 100, which includes the traditional farm animals but also meerkats, otters, wallabies and birds of prey. The meerkats won the vote as the most interesting among my crew.
There is a huge indoor play barn (with wifi), but it was packed on the day we went, so we didn’t spend much time in there. My lot had a little look around while I warmed up with a coffee (which probably won’t win any awards for taste).
Hobbledown could be a good option for a birthday party. There are various packages available where they take care of everything for you.
It cost £9.50 each for the children, plus £8.50 for me to go on a weekend. But as of last week that rose to £14 and £13 for a weekend or school holiday visit. It’s less if you go on a weekday, or if you turn up after 3pm, and there are discounts of between 5 and 15 per cent if you book ahead.
Hobbledown Farm, Horton Lane, Epsom, KT19 8PT. Tel: 01372 848990. hobbledown.com